House of Commons Hansard #40 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ethanol.

Topics

Manufacturing Industry
Oral Questions

January 30th, 2008 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, last month I participated with colleagues and local representatives in a round table about manufacturing jobs.

London is home to more than 40,000 manufacturing workers representing one in seven jobs in the area. Manufacturing matters to the people of London and the concerns were very real. Their jobs were at risk.

When will the government stop its inane talk of structural adjustment and laissez-faire, and show it actually cares about the workers and families who are under stress now?

Manufacturing Industry
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I can say as the Minister of Industry, many years ago I started my own employment working at a coal mine. So any time a Canadian loses a job, it is something that I feel strongly about.

Instead of listening to the complaints from the Liberals, from the party opposite, the government is getting things done. In terms of the manufacturing sector, nothing is more important in the province of Ontario than the auto sector.

I can assure the member that just yesterday, the Minister of the Environment, Minister of Finance, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and I collectively met with the chief executive officers of the auto industry, working on making our country competitive and producing jobs for Canadians. We are getting the task done.

Manufacturing Industry
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is rhetoric. What we need is more than a do nothing approach.

Aside from the losses of manufacturing jobs, this government fails to understand that these jobs provide many spin-off jobs in other sectors, such as retail, such as services. Lost jobs also mean lost revenue for all levels of government and increased costs for social services.

Again, I ask the government, when will it start offering manufacturing workers in our communities some immediate action and some real hope for their future?

Manufacturing Industry
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we will continue to work with all of the sectors in the Ontario economy, indeed the economy across the country, to ensure that we are competitive and to ensure that we make innovations.

If my hon. friend would read the CIBC report, she would find that many of the jobs that are being lost are being replaced by jobs that are actually of equal quality or even higher quality. I encourage my friend to perhaps focus on CIBC rather than CBC as a source to quote in the House.

Manufacturing Industry
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Conference Board revealed that business confidence in the economy is at a 9-year low, even lower than at the time of 9/11. This is quite a reversal compared to the great hopes of Canadians before this government came to power.

After two years of inaction and 130,000 jobs lost in the manufacturing sector, why have the Conservatives not made any concrete proposals to save Canadian jobs?

Manufacturing Industry
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, after the last Liberal budget in 2005 here is what the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters said: “The Liberal budget fell far short of what is necessary...This is a clear example of opportunity lost”. That is the record of Liberal government in Canada.

The record since we have been in government shows that we have reduced taxes for businesses dramatically to historic lows. We also brought in an accelerated capital cost allowance, all of which the Liberals voted against if they bothered to vote.

Manufacturing Industry
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, listening to the minister's fiscal bragging is almost as if he has forgotten his disastrous fiscal past. His Ontario government ran on a balanced budget only to dump a $5.8 billion deficit on Dalton McGuinty.

Does he not know his history? From Devine and Harris to Mulroney, from Reagan to Bush, it is Conservatives that run big, fat, juicy deficits only to have Liberals come in and clean up the ugly mess.

Manufacturing Industry
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Manufacturing Industry
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. Minister of Finance, and we will have some order please. Order.

Manufacturing Industry
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite's--

Manufacturing Industry
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. Members would not want to waste time. The Minister of Finance has the floor and we have to be able to hear his answer to the question.

The hon. Minister of Finance. Order.

Manufacturing Industry
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Whitby—Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite's memory fails him.

There is a very well-known now Liberal in Ontario named Bob Rae whose government nearly bankrupted the province of Ontario from 1990 to 1995.

I would remind the member opposite also that in the last five years of the government of which he was a member, spending went up on average 8.2% per year. In one year alone, 2004-05, there was a 14.8% increase in spending. Talk about fiscal irresponsibility.

Public Works and Government Services Canada
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in response to one of my questions, the Prime Minister suggested that we are asking questions about the influence peddling in his office, because the people involved are Greek. That is the same type of response we got from the Liberals to our questions about Alfonso Gagliano. Those are crass arguments.

Instead of using such arguments, could the Prime Minister simply answer my question? Did he ever meet with Leo Housakos at 24 Sussex?

Public Works and Government Services Canada
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is a big difference here. This company has not received any special favours or treatment. I do not understand the Bloc Québécois' complaint.

Public Works and Government Services Canada
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, how the internal disputes in the Conservative Party between supporters of the Liberal Party of Quebec and supporters of the ADQ are being resolved is their business. What I am asking the Prime Minister is not whether their approach is working or not, or which side won, but whether or not he met with Leo Housakos at 24 Sussex Drive? It is simple. Did such a meeting take place or not?